Posting a blog on an ecommerce site builds community, instills trust, and gives consumers a reason to return. The sale would likely follow.
But online retailers with long-term, high-quality blogs are rare. What follows are four of my favorites.
Mr Porter is an online menswear retailer founded in 2011. The company sells around 300 designer brands. An accompanying site, Net-A-Porter, sells female fashion items.
In 2014, Mr. Porter published “The Journal”, a weekly web magazine with a print edition appearing six times a year. In March 2020, the web version began posting daily, presumably due to its worldwide popularity – The Journal claims 2.5 million monthly visitors.
The articles in the journal are short and easy to process. The categories – current, fashion, grooming, watches, travel, lifestyle – mainly cover fashion and accessories with additional topics to arouse reader interest. All refer to Mr. Porter’s products. For example, the products from the article “Every Polo Shirt You’ll Need This Summer” are on Mr. Porter’s digital shelves. The items are linked in the body content.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow founded Goop in 2008 as a weekly email newsletter with health and wellness tips. She soon added a website, followed by ecommerce. The content of articles remains the focus of Goop. The company is now hosting a Wellness Summit, Celebrity Cruise, Podcast, and Netflix Series.
Goop’s articles are available on the homepage. Categories are Beauty, Food & Home, Style, Travel and Wellness. Good PhD, a sixth category, is created by the company’s science and research team to “compile key studies and information on a range of health topics, conditions and diseases.”
Similar to The Journal by Mr. Porter, Goop’s articles link to his products. For example, “6 reasons to switch to mineral sunscreen” links to six products.
Goop’s newsletter brings together the best blog posts and articles to buy.
Dermstore was founded in 1999 by a Californian dermatologist. It is now a popular skin care product e-commerce site with over 350 brands. “The Dermstore Blog” mainly picks up skin care topics from experts. Categories are Skin Care, Anti Aging, Top Product Picks, Doctor’s Office, Hair Care Tips, and Dermatologist Reviews. Dermstore’s content team consists of in-house and freelance writers, including doctors and licensed beauticians.
The posts on the Dermstore blog contain “Buy Now” buttons and other links to the company’s products.
If your company can’t afford experts, invite them to leave their opinion on a topic, then include it as a quote on a post. I wrote for Dermstore once and received free expert interviews and quotes through the Help a Reporter website.
Motherly started in 2015 as a blog focused on motherhood. The company has since added two podcasts, “The Motherly Podcast” and “Becoming Mama: A Pregnancy and Birth Podcast”. Motherly says its collective audience reaches 30 million users. The company raised $ 5.4 million in Series A funding in 2020 and then opened a store.
Motherly stays content-centric through in-house writers and contributions from mothers and practitioners such as pediatricians, nurses, and midwives. Categories are pregnancy, parenthood, and life. Posts contain links to (paid) courses and store products such as cots, jogging strollers and car seats.
CEO Jill Koziol said Motherly’s brand is “woman-centric – not baby-centric – and expert-led”. It then uses that brand to sell products.
build up trust
Trust is essential to building a sustainable brand. Well-done content is a great way to build trust with customers and prospects. Each of the above companies offers specialist authors on important topics several times a week. Consumers will be happy to read the posts even if they don’t buy a product.
But there’s nothing wrong with including product mentions, as the companies have shown. The trick is to give away valuable information and include product mentions that support the topic.